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It is Time for Your First Solo

You arrive at the flight school and meet with your certified flight instructor (CFI); he or she asks you “are you read for your first solo flight today?”

Of course, you are!

What to expect:

When your CFI feels you are ready and you have completed the required task per the Federal Aeronautical Regulation) FAR, he or she will pick a good weather day for your solo flight. Depending on your location, you may do your first solo at a towered or non-towered airport.

You begin your flight lesson like any other flight lesson, by going out to the airplane and completing your preflight inspection. You and your instructor takeoff and do a couple rounds in the traffic pattern to get you warmed up.

You well taxi back to the flight school or place on the ramp, shut down the airplane. At this time, your CFI will sign your logbook, student pilot certificate, along with all required endorsements. This makes you legal with the FAA to do your solo flight.

During takeoff you will notice a difference in the airplanes’ climb and performance, without your instructor next to you. You will probably reach pattern altitude a lot faster than you are used to. It is a weird feeling being in the airplane by yourself, at first.

This is a confidence builder. If something happens, you do not have your CFI next to you to help you out. You may make mistakes, and that is okay. Mistakes is how you learn as a pilot and in anything you do, and make decisions further builds your confidence as a pilot and as pilot in command (PIC) of the airplane.

After a successful first solo flight:

After your first solo you taxi back to the ramp or flight school, you are no doughty exceeded with a big smile. Your instructor will be waiting to congratulate you and ask how you did. Some schools still do the old tradition of cutting off the student’s shirttail, so you can draw on sign, date and hang in on the wall.

Other schools may pour water on your head.

A student’s first solo flight is one they will always remember!



  • Being nervous is one thing, but if you do not feel comfort doing your first solo flight talk to your CFI about it.

  • If you are doing your solo flight at a towered airport, it does not hurt to let air traffic control (ATC) know you are a student. ATC has no problem helping you out with anything.

  • If the approach to land does not look right or you as the pilot, feels uncomfortable with something about the approach. It is ALWAYS, ALWAYS safest to Go Around, even if it takes a couple of times.

  • Take your time with everything you do i.e. going over the checklists, taxiing, and the flight portion; there is no need to rush.

  • Lastly, take your time, relax and fly the airplane like you have been in previous lessons and enjoy it.

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